I made Nigel Slater’s Tom Yam Gai from his book Real Food this evening, really easy to make, basically chicken breast poached till cooked in chicken stock, the chicken breast then removed and shredded whilst the stock is simmered further with lime leaves, chilli, garlic and lemon grass for another ten minutes. The shredded chicken breast is then added back again, along with a teaspoon of sugar and some nam pla and simmered for another four minutes before finishing the soup off with some lime juice and coriander. The soup is intensely savoury, light and comforting, yum.
Girl Lacer managed or I managed, I’m not sure who exactly was to blame for this, to loose one of her school shoes on Thursday at her tap class. She had to go home in Boy Lacer’s pushchair (the alternative would have been hopping or wrecking her tap shoes) whilst Boy Lacer walked literally the longest walk of his life, home (normal adult speed, the walk from tap to home would take 15 – 20 minutes, it took him 35 minutes of determined toddling, because even though he’s nearly 3 1/2 now, he still toddles, but not even a tiny bit of whinging and this is the boy who normally wants carrying half though the five minute walk to playgroup).
So, anyway, we had to go and buy some more new school shoes today, I wasn’t totally annoyed at the prospect of this as she’d had her school shoes since September and I was pretty convinced her feet must have grown and therefore we were due new school shoes anyway. Got her feet measured today, they are still exactly the same size, so now I’m annoyed.
But on a more stress relieving note, I’ve been doing some drawing. A spot of background, I officially can’t draw, I grew up in an artistic family, my mum was a hippy ’60s art school graduate, my sister inherited her talent, even my dad can knock up a decent landscape, I used to get teased for my interpretation of ‘sheep’ (fluffy cloud with four tree trunk legs and a sticky out bit for a head) by my geography teacher. Consequently I ‘shunned’ my family’s artistic routes and spent a very happy couple of decades as a happy lab rat, however my lab rat days are definitely over, for a start in my specialism of genetics, alot of it is automated now (several of my old job roles now literally no longer exist) and this is where I sound old, it’s a young persons game anyway. When I do go back to ‘proper work’ it may have a scientific link (because I’ve got zero skills in any other work related profession) but it’d be in management or more preferably something to do with the presentation of science to the public (i.e. a job in a science museum or botantical collection please job fairy, one with child friendly hours). Anyway, I’m going off track here, now the scientist in me is receding, original artistic tendencies that were quashed have been resurfacing, including an interest in drawing. Now I am realistic enough to know that I do not have drawing from life skills, I’m never for example going to be able to draw a bear and make it look like a real bear, however it occurred to me recently after watching 5 years of children’s art programmes, notably Squiggly It and Draw Me a Picture Louie, that there is more to drawing than drawing something realistically, you draw stuff stylistically instead, so I got me a book, The Cartoonist’s Big Book of Drawing Animals by Christopher Hart, when I was feeling particularly frazzled the other day (and that’s another reason why I’m spending a lot of my free time trying to be creative at the moment, it does relax me, whereas sadly writing doesn’t because normally in my stories something horrible / tense / exciting is happening to my characters and that makes me feel horrible / tense / excited writing it), anyway last night I started working my way through the first chapter on bears and even if I do say so myself, I was quite pleasantly surprised.
This was my first attempt, the neck is not meant to be that long, so it’s sort of made the bear look a bit emancipated, he looks like he’s too stupid to figure where the honey is, but I like him.
I’m not too keen on my crouching bear but I like the others and finally . . .
The book was fantastic at showing how to break the bears down into shapes, to get the proportions right and I really needed something to show me how to do that.